Calamine brass

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A copper alloyed with zinc. Calamine brass was made as early as neolithic times by heating zinc ore (calamine, hemimorphite, or smithsonite) in the presence of copper. The zinc vapors diffuse into the copper forming the brass alloy. First produced in Asia Minor, this manufacturing technique for brass was commonly used in that region by the 1st millennium BC. The production of calamine brass continued through the 18th century.


  • Henry Hodges, Artifacts: An Introduction to Early Materials and Technology, Ronald P. Frye, Kingston, Canada, 1988
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: "calamine brass" Encyclopædia Britannica [Accessed September 19, 2001].

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